Grilling Menu: Stuffed Jalapeno-Cheddar Burgers and Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

Stuffed Burger Uncut Snap

I make these all the time because they really are easy and a great way to have a cheeseburger without losing half the cheese to the grill. And the sweet potato cajun fries are the perfect sweet, spicy combo.  Grill some peaches, pears or plums and dinner is done. Enjoy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Jalapeno-Cheddar Stuffed Burgers
  2. Kaiser Rolls
  3. Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
  4. Grilled Sweet Corn  (pull husks back, clean off silk, wash, pull husks up & grill-yum!)
  5. Plums

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Modified Sonoma Chicken Salad

Here’s the original recipe

I was craving this salad enough to go out and get pecans today. I also grabbed a bottle of poppyseed dressing to take a shortcut in preparation.

Modified Sonoma Chicken Salad

  • 1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup poppyseed dressing
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce*

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, poppyseed dressing, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. When ready to serve, toss dressing with chicken, pecans, cranberry sauce.

Serve on crusty rolls or I really like them on romaine lettuce leaves.

*I have cranberries in the freezer as a staple, so I made my own whole cranberry sauce.

Also, I never post photos of this because I always use fresh cranberries and unlike dried cranberries, it turns the entire salad pinkish.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Revisited

I really like these cookies, they’re simple to make and gluten-free. But one thing about them is they a terribly sweet. So I decided to see what would happen if I cut the sugar down considerably.

They turned out super – not too sweet and super peanut butter flavor.  Changes are in blue.

Peanut Butter Cookies (Revisited)

(makes 12-18)

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg

baking sheet

Cream ingredients together and drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet. Dip a fork in sugar and press down the dough. Bake at 300 degree F for 10-13 minutes.

This usually gets a good, soft cookie, but I was wanted to try for a crispier outside. But they are prone to burning. So at the 13-minute mark, I turned off the oven and let them sit for 5 more minutes. They turned out perfectly – crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Going to make them again soon.

Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters

The day after Memorial Day, I braved going out into the world. I scored 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters for $4. (That’s $4, not $4 a lb). So I froze most and kept a few out to grill. I use a spicy dry rub and grill them until they are about 160 degrees F, then I coat them in a sweeter sauce (I love me some Sweet Baby Ray’s) and let them finish cooking, about 10 more minutes. That way the sauce doesn’t burn.

Other times, I’ll flip the process and use a sweet rub and coat with Sweet Baby Ray’s Spicy sauce. Either way, I get a nice sweet and spicy mix when it’s done.

And yes, those potatoes are sliced in half, coated in oil and salt and then grilled. Gives them a nice crust and they cook in half the time.


 

Comfort Baking: Potato Bread

Someone suggested to me to use potato bread dough next time I made cinnamon rolls. It sounded like an idea, but it also made me really, really want potato bread. I don’t believe I’ve ever made it before. And since I had no plans to make cinnamon rolls anytime soon, potato bread it had to be.

I have to tell you, it was fairly simple, and made the most amazing bread. Silky, moist, flavorful, and firm enough to cut into very thin slices.

The only drawback of the recipe is you’ll need either a stand mixer or a bread machine. The dough must be kneaded for about 7 minutes on a high speed. It’s a very sticky dough, difficult to knead by hand and it’s really not possible to get the texture without a machine knead.

Otherwise, it’s straightforward. Continue reading

Locked Down Cooking: Raiding the Freezer

I’m trying to clean out the freezer, using up items before my weekly shopping trip. Since I can’t run out to pick up something I may have forgotten, I’ve had to get creative as I cook. Here are two meals made from what was in the house on those days.

My favorite Oven-Baked Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes, with a little twist: smoked brisket gravy. The thing about oven-baked chicken is there’s not enough drippings to make a good gravy. But in my freezer, I had little secret ingredient to make a great, smoky gravy: burnt ends. These were leftover from my very first smoked brisketContinue reading

I Made Bagels!

This was my first attempt at bagels and I was surprised and pleased with how easy it was and how well they came out.

A few weeks ago, I couldn’t sleep and ended up watching a few episodes of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I hadn’t seen it before, but was curious as one of our local restaurants was featured in an episode. Since I wasn’t impressed with their food, I wasn’t inclined to watch the show until a bout of insomnia. Continue reading